Let the Yanks have it: why Aussies should boycott the Super Bowl

Patrick Effeney Editor

By Patrick Effeney, Patrick Effeney is a Roar Editor

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    What a game! What hype! What buzz! What drama! Even the lights went out on Monday, evidence that the Super Bowl requires more juice than physics and/or God can provide.

    On Monday we Australians were treated to one of the best Super Bowls in the history of the sport!

    At least, that was as far as I could tell.

    I am a complete philistine when it comes to the game where the downtime outweighs the uptime sixfold.

    I know nothing of the sport where there happens to be thrice the number of players in a ‘team’ than can legally take the field at any one time.

    I wilfully and neglectfully shun opportunities to watch the football where there are more forward passes in one game than you would see in an entire Super Rugby season.

    But despite my ignorant mocking of the machinations of the game that is enjoyed by so many in the land of the free, I do have a real bone to pick with Australia about the Super Bowl.

    Wherefore do you care, Australia?

    Especially you, you hiding, secretive NFL fans who found your voice on Facebook and Twitter at 10.00am AEDT on the fourth of February 2013!

    “Go Ravens!”

    “Come on 49ers!:

    Was it all that emotion that you invested, all season long, willing the Niners to break their drought?

    Was it all those years you spent as a long-suffering Ravens fan?

    Had you even heard of the Ravens before they won the AFC Championship game and made it to the big kahuna?

    Or did you just jump on the irresistible NFL bandwagon?

    I will admit that I had only heard whispers of the Ravens’ franchise, and these were mostly mooted in drink-addled contests where participants were asked to name all 593 NFL franchises actively competing in the NFL.

    And although pretty much all American sporting franchises have cooler sounding names than their Australian counterparts, I see this as insufficient reason for pretending to care about America’s biggest day in sport.

    After all, none of us actually watch the NFL throughout the season, do we?

    The Super Bowl, when placed in the jammed context Australian sporting landscape, has little to no impact.

    It takes up a two-page spread the day before and the day after the game, and is never thought of again.

    I would be surprised if the Super Bowl ever featured in any Australian’s personal best sporting moments of 20XX.

    Of course there will be outliers and those who moved over from America, but the impact of the game to most of us is, yet it is billed as a ‘must-watch’ every year.

    For this reason I think we should reflect on our true motivations for watching it.

    Why are we really pretending to understand it, with all its boring and confusing timeouts, power shortages, half-time audience pandering and mind-boggling rules?

    If the only purpose of the Super Bowl to Australians is to take up a few column inches in the newspaper and give people with a day off on Monday something to watch, then I think we should leave it at that.

    We should just stop pretending to care.

    It will save us the awkwardness of conversations like this one:

    “Who won the Super Bowl?”


    “Baltimore who?

    “I dunno. The Crows or something?”

    “Uh huh… So, looking forward to Origin this year?”

    It doesn’t mean anything to Australians other than an excuse to drink terrible American beer early in the morning, something I’m more than happy to never do again.

    Let the Americans have it. They seem to like it.

    I’ll take State of Origin, AFL grand final day, the Boxing Day Test, Bathurst 1000 any day of the week.

    Hell, I’d even take Australia versus West Indies in a one-sided ODI borefest, complete with hours of rain delay.

    Although Australia’s music, film and television industries may be bent over backwards by their American counterparts, giving us little choice but to like what they throw at us, our sporting industry remains our own.

    I don’t see the reason to watch the Super Bowl just because it’s big.

    There’s plenty enough on our patch to keep us occupied.

    And it will save those who do jump on the bandwagon once a year the inevitable embarrassment of being vigorously quizzed by an actual NFL fan.

    Patrick is The Roar's Editor. Twitter: @PatrickEffeney

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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • Roar Pro

      February 7th 2013 @ 7:23am
      Brandon Marlow said | February 7th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      I followed the entire NFL season living in Australia and supported my Detroit Lions all the way until their final game. Once the Super Bowl came around, of course I would be excited to see who comes out on top. You just come across as a jaded Aussie who hates that Americans have the capability to do things bigger and better than us.

      • February 8th 2013 @ 9:08am
        Not Inerterested said | February 8th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        Or maybe here really dosen’t like it and just telling it like it is.

        Go, enjoy your 12 minutes of action in squeeded into a 4 hour cure for insomia. No wonder fans of the game reckon the time it gives plenty of time to drink, you need to be blotto just to enjoy it.

        So when these fine examples of sportsmen that showcase the lastest advances in steriods (they only get a 5 game suspension if they get caught) parade in front of the masses in an advertisement dressed up as a sport, I glade you get some enjoyment out of it.

        So what if the author of this article and myself (and probably a few billion or more around globe) don’t like it. After all we have free speech (to an extent) in this country and being a supporter of all things American you seem to be you should be embraceing this concept instead of trying to be little those who disagree with you.

        • Roar Pro

          February 11th 2013 @ 5:09pm
          Brandon Marlow said | February 11th 2013 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

          Yeah, like performance enhancing drugs aren’t rife throughout Australian sport SMH.

    • February 7th 2013 @ 7:48am
      oikee said | February 7th 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      At least you did not have to suffer the indignity of having one of your codes reporters send a backpage report and telling you how ordinary your code is compared to the NFL.
      (rugby league) It is a shame we cant get the message to him, please stay over there in america you love that game so much. You do nothing for our game here, and your always trying to compare our game to every other code.

      Here is my response.
      I dont care for NFL, never have , never will. I love my code, i love it more every year, i will even love it more again if you are not reporting for my code any more. Your a boring migrane. 🙂
      Paddy, love your work mate.

    • February 7th 2013 @ 8:45am
      B.A Sports said | February 7th 2013 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      You’re right about one thing Paddy – you are ignorant.

      Just because the newspapers in Australia don’t write about it, doesn’t mean people don’t watch it each week. You see with the Internet these days, people can follow it and read about it online. I mean why would we read what an Aussie Journo thinks about the game, when we get to read about the latest happenings from journos who have covered the game in the States for decades? So why would they bother writing about it in the SMH or the Age?

      There are more NFL games shown live on FTA each week in Australia than there are NRL games – think about that for a second.

      Many also watch it on FOX or through ESPN.

      And even more (like me) can watch every single game through the Internet each week live, or on demand, or in highlight form because the NFL is so far in advance of the Australian codes when it comes to broadcasting and promoting their game.

    • Columnist

      February 7th 2013 @ 8:49am
      Dane Eldridge said | February 7th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Nice read and a tidy jab to the travelling bandwagon!

      I’ve gotta give a shoutout to the real rusted-on fans of the game here in Australia. It must kill all of these NFL diehards to see once-a-year blow-ins trying to talk tight ends and rushing for one day a year after doing the hard yards through the regular season.I

      As for myself, I have bugger-all idea on the game, however I will embrace any excuse to stomach booze on a Monday morning when I should be at work.

      • Editor

        February 7th 2013 @ 11:47am
        Patrick Effeney said | February 7th 2013 @ 11:47am | ! Report

        Thanks Dane, and you’re right to mention the rusted on fans. They don’t get a guernsey in the above, for obvious reasons.

        But from reading your stuff in the past, don’t you mention Boddingtons as your beer of choice? A far cry from American swill.

        • Columnist

          February 7th 2013 @ 12:02pm
          Dane Eldridge said | February 7th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

          Very true my man, I did mention Boddingtons in a past piece, however I was rather drunk at the time.

          It’s Millers all the way for me now.

    • February 7th 2013 @ 9:44am
      mushi said | February 7th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Been a Broncos fan for over 20 years. Lived through the super bowl drubbings, the Griese Era, the 1000 yard rushing factory, the three amigos, the Josh McDaniels sentence which could only have been court enforced in response to some mass ritualistic killing.

      Played it for four years which was great fun and also an education on how technical the game is and how uneducated most of the criticism are

      It is frustrating to hear the misinformation (i sat there listening to someone behind me saying there are like 20 odd teams and explaining strategies from Don Lane’s day) but hey if someone enjoyed the game all the more to them.

    • February 7th 2013 @ 9:52am
      Tom of Brisbane said | February 7th 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      “I don’t like the NFL because its rules are different to the rules of other sports”. Well there’s a scoop Sherlock.

      You might as well say the NFL is stupid because it doesn’t have an LBW law.

      Worst Roar article ever

      • February 7th 2013 @ 12:45pm
        Nate Hornblower said | February 7th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        Couldn’t agree more.

        When you make it clear your completely ignorant then you really shouldn’t bother writing articles about something your unqualified to speak on.

        Worst article ever

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